In our Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) and Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) programs, Leading Families Home works with landlords throughout Toledo to identify rental units for those transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. We do this by conducting evaluations and inspections to ensure fair rental costs and sanitary conditions for our Participants.
Part of this process is to evaluate each rental unit to ensure reasonable rent rates. This is called rent reasonableness. Rent reasonableness evaluations are a component of how Leading Families Home determines if a unit’s rent is fair, i.e. comparable to similar units in a geographic area.
Our organization uses software developed by HUD to calculate this. The HUD definition:
“Ensuring rent reasonableness is very important for effective program operations. If a PHA approves rents that are too high, government funds are wasted and limited housing subsidies are squandered. Alternatively, if rents are approved at levels lower than comparable units in the private market, better owners and higher quality units are discouraged from participating in the program. In addition, families may be inappropriately restricted in where they can live..”
Fair Market Rent in Toledo, Ohio
According to the Office of Policy Development & Research:
Fair Market Rents (FMRs) are used to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program, to determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts, to determine initial rents for housing assistance payment (HAP) contracts in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program (Mod Rehab), rent ceilings for rental units in both the HOME Investment Partnerships program and the Emergency Solution Grants program, calculation of maximum award amounts for Continuum of Care recipients and the maximum amount of rent a recipient may pay for property leased with Continuum of Care funds, and calculation of flat rents in Public Housing units. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually estimates FMRs for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defined metropolitan areas, some HUD defined subdivisions of OMB metropolitan areas and each nonmetropolitan county. 42 USC 1437f requires FMRs be posted at least 30 days before they are effective and that they are effective at the start of the federal fiscal year (generally October 1).
“Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Toledo is $727 per month,” as reported by rentdata.org. The website also states that, “[c]ompared to the rest of Ohio, the Toledo FMR area is more expensive than 75% of the state.”
In July 2020, the Toledo Blade reported, “…the median rent in Toledo for a one-bedroom apartment is $589, while the rent for a two-bedroom is $770. The median rent for a three-bedroom is $1,055 and the median for a four-bedroom is $1,153. The median for a studio apartment is $490.” (Toledo apartment rent declines for third straight month)
At Leading Families Home, we want our Participants to be housed in a unit they will be able to afford when they are no longer receiving a housing subsidy for us. For our Participants, $727 would have to include expected utility costs as part of the payment standard for any 2 bedroom unit, not just the rental unit cost.
Leading Families Home also conducts vigorous inspections into each housing unit. Our inspections ensure units meet city code and HUD regulations. Each unit must pass inspection before a lease is signed or payments begin. There are significant standards a landlord must meet. Our amazing landlords work with housing inspectors to make sure their homes are safe AND affordable.
The purpose of this is to “provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing at an affordable cost to low-income families.” (Housing Quality Standards) Establishing standards allow a baseline to be defined, so that Participants in housing programs are kept healthy and safe.
13 Key Aspects of Housing Quality
As defined by HUD, the 13 key aspects of housing quality covered by the HQS include:
- Sanitary facilities;
- Food preparation and refuse disposal;
- Space and security;
- Thermal environment;
- Illumination and electricity;
- Structure and materials;
- Interior air quality;
- Water supply;
- Lead-based paint;
- Site and neighborhood;
- Sanitary condition; and
- Smoke Detectors.
After the initial housing inspection, Leading Families Home requires inspections every 12 months during a family’s stay in a rental unit.
Referrals to LFH
Leading Families Home also helps other local agencies with inspections and rent reasonableness evaluations. For instance, Lutheran Social Services has a housing program, and also use city inspectors to assist with inspections. LFH assists Lutheran Social Services with excess referrals for evaluations and inspections.
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Help Us Out
Leading Families Home is based in Toledo, Ohio. We are dedicated to fighting homelessness in our community – and we’d love your help! Please consider supporting our organization in one of the following ways:
Leading Families Home partners with PayPal for secure online payments. Click Donate Now to be taken to the secure donation page.
Mail a Check
To donate by check, please make the check out to Leading Families Home.
Mail your check to the following address:
Leading Families Home
2283 Ashland Ave.
Toledo, OH 43604
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Matching Gifts: Double Your Donation
Every year we have a Match Campaign – an exciting way for you to double your impact. During this campaign, our match partners will match your monetary donation to Leading Families Home.
Match partners also include corporate sponsors who match their employees’ donations. If you’d like to participate, find out if your employer matches employee donations to 501(c)(3) organizations and contact us.
Host a 3rd Party Fundraiser
Do you love to plan events? You can raise donations for LFH by hosting your own event! Have fun and make an impact on our community. Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts or baby shower presents.
Remember Us in Your Will
A Planned Gift allows you to donate in a very meaningful way. Contact your financial advisor or estate planner to learn more.